Gevaarlijke poëzie

Ayat Al-Qormozi

Poëzie is staatsgevaarlijk. Ik kan zo een aantal dichters opnoemen die de biezen moesten pakken of die vervolgd werden: Pablo Neruda, Nâzim Hikmet, Antonio Machado. Op de gedichtendag in Antwerpen kwamen een aantal Birmese dichters in de kijker te staan die jarenlang in de gevangenis opgesloten zaten.

Zonder titel

Gelukkig dat mijn voorhoofd plat is
aangezien mijn arm daar vaak moet rusten
Achter me is er het licht van een maan
onzichtbaar hier in Myitkyina, die ik
maar moet vragen langs te komen

Zargana (Een Birmees dichter - Vertaling: Job Degenaar, vanuit de Engelse versie van Vicky Bowman)

In Bahrein werd verleden jaar Ayat al-Qormozi, een dichteres van 20 jaar die aan de Faculty of Teachers in Bahrein studeerde, aangehouden omdat ze tijdens een betoging tegen de regering luidop een anti-regeringsgedicht had gereciteerd. Ze werd door een militaire(!!) rechtbank berecht en veroordeeld tot 1 jaar celstraf omdat ze had deelgenomen aan een verboden betoging, omdat ze de openbare veiligheid in het gedrang had gebracht en omdat ze haatboodschappen aan het regime had geuit. Autoritaire regimes kunnen niet goed overweg met gedachten en poëzie. Men kan het democratisch gehalte van een regime afmeten aan zijn tolerantie-vermogen tegen dissidente stemmen. Iets dat we in België en Europa in de gaten moeten houden want ik heb Frau Merkel al horen fluisteren dat ze in Griekenland beter een junta in het leven zouden roepen om het land uit de crisis te leiden.

Omdat we het opsluiten van gedachten niet mogen aanvaarden, hieronder alvast de kritische stem van Ayat al-Qormozi.

Aayat's poem criticising the Prime Minister:




Hear me:

You, the elder,

the "good man", who "safeguards justice"

(so you have always declared),

if I were to make excuses for you,

I, for you,

for the things you have done,

I would only look the fool,

for you would continue in your ways,

and murder us as "traitors".

Hear me:

Hear us all, for we all demand likewise -

both sects, all Bahrainis:

You must go.

Take His Majesty with you,

and leave your deeds behind.

You, oppressor,

from where do you derive your power,

the power to keep your people down? -

all your people,

even women

even children

even men.

Yet you call for "dialogue",

even in the midst of your brutality?

No! ... No! ...

One word: No!

One demand:

Give us back our Bahrain.

Return this country to its people;

to us, its people.

Our Bahrain is ours.




We don't want to live in a palace; and we don't like presidency

We are a people that kill humiliation and murder misery

We are a people that destroys oppression, with peace as its base

We are a people that don't want people to remain set back



 Poem on the Equation of Injustice

During a banquet of people’s suffering, Satan and [King] Hamad sat chatting:


Hamad, thy Lord you must fear,

I am almost out of tear,

I am the Devil, myself, but I swear

Standing by the people, I wish I were.

I’ll revolt against you, tyrant, and follow their track,

Repent to my creator, and to my senses I will get back,

Thanks to the people’s stunning efforts you lack.


Partner, you taught me some tricks to play,

How can I ignore all that today?

As I bestow on them humiliation, disgrace and fear,

Satan, my bro, how can you come today to interfere?

Their attitude apparently takes you aback.


Yes, Hamad, I’m shocked with the people here.

How can you give them a deaf ear?

Can’t you see that the crowds have all the right?

Listen to their complaints, as they proceed day and night,

With all treasures, you can’t buy the people you attack.


Not yet, Satan, my bro, I’m still thirsty to their blood,

Still I am not done with my people and the neighborhood.

Still I have a suggestion for the people who are appalling:

Be like a breeding machine, where parents are unknown,

No more candles lit in the country of my own,

Thirsty? Get my water, but ignore people’s calls,

Still I have not tortured in my nation,

All religion men, youth and the younger generation.

My prisons destructed hopes of the youth.

I have billion ways for humiliation, to tell you the truth.

The people are forced to pay the youth a farewell,

Since then, their numbers never swell.

Leave them alone, they are unemployed,

Migrant Indians are at work, not annoyed.

I shall wait for the last migrant on our land of pride,

To wave with the flag from side to side.

Why should Abu Salman react to them

Still I haven’t the high rent from them.

The appalling people have homes, land and property,

While my folks are only a hundred and twenty,

They work in silence so that no one a thing hears.


Tell yourself that, and don’t fear,

A hundred twenty… but they don’t hear.

Listen Abu Sulaiman, my alpha student:

Your cunnings exceed the limit,

The rebels and their unity stunned me,

No discrimination between a Shiite and Sunni.

Sunnis and Shiites are brothers in nation,

Seven martyrs are the people’s donation,

Their death did not touch your heart.

If you need advice from my part,

I will propose to you the best action:

Your regime failed in people’s satisfaction,

So take it and leave, and this is the catch:

To your people, you are not a match. 

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